Following an online backlash, Hudson’s Bay Company will no longer be selling baseball cap featuring the phrase “Make Canada Great Again”. The obvious play on U.S. President Donald Trump’s politically charged message did not go over very well with Canadian consumers.
According to HuffPost, Hudson’s Bay has opted not to make a comment on the reasons for selling their product but did release a blanket statement addressing the issue. HuffPost quotes the retailer as saying “It was never our intention to offend and we have removed this product from our assortment,”.
— Zoey! (@zoeywrites) October 17, 2018
— Maureen Mueller (@MaureenRN22) October 17, 2018
This tweet for the win…
.@hudsonsbay hey I was wondering if you had any smallpox blankets left to go with your “make Canada great again” hats?
— tanya tagaq (@tagaq) October 17, 2018
What’s crazy about this story is that it really wasn’t any sweat off Hudson’s Bay’s back as the hat already sold out online before Hudson’s Bay made the announcement.
While it’s obvious that Canadians don’t agree with the rhetoric and political landscape in the United States it does beg the question as to what is a retailers responsibility in selling or not selling products that may be deemed offensive? One could argue that they provided a product that people obviously wanted. The product did sell out. The messaging on the hat is still problematic though and ultimately is a lazy effort by the brand that made the product to capitalize on the political turmoil that is happening south of the border.